The stories of how hated Keith Olbermann was at ESPN (or MSNBC, or Current TV) are waaaaay to numerous to count.
So when the rumors floated that Olby might be headed back to ESPN everyone laughed.
But Damn if they might not really be true.
The Big Lead writes that ESPN President John Skipper wants the cantankerous Olbermann back, multiple sources say, and they’re very likely going to get him – as early as late-May.
What, exactly, would Olbermann do for ESPN?
Besides tossing him the occasional Sportscenter, Olbermann could start a column on ESPN.com. Rick Reilly’s deal is expiring early this summer (June 1 is the rumored date), and if he bolts for the Golf Channel, Olbermann could fill his space. How’s that for media free agency – Reilly walks and Olbermann enters? Or, ESPN could just keep Reilly and add Olbermann?
Another source said ESPN Radio in New York (which recently moved from AM to FM) is struggling beyond Mike & Mike, and an afternoon show (say, opposite Francesa?) could be intriguing. Olbermann is a baseball guy. New York is a baseball town. Baseball Tonight could also be in play, I’m told.
Options are many. But here’s the big fear Skipper may not have considered – in 2013, if Olbermann dresses down employees and curses out production assistants, a source at ESPN texted me, “you know that hours later, it’s going to end up on your site or Deadspin.”